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PinkBunny
03-28-2012, 06:51 PM
May I ask a question of the people of this board? It is a bit involved, I am sorry to say.

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I came to this board to learn more about kitchen knives. Strangely enough, the thread that has taught me the most has been not the Kitchen Knife Knowledge subforum, but the "Youtube Knuckleheads" thread in the media subforum. This is because it has been my experience that the best way to understand someone is to listen to them when they are mocking someone. This is not an insult, a lot of those video's are horrific(especially those ones from expertvillage), it just seems that, when someone is being negative, it is easier to understand what they value, how they think.

In particular, around page 22-26, especially this post:
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2216-YouTube-Knuckleheads?p=82384&viewfull=1#post82384

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Again, this is the uninformed opinion of a neophyte. I actually taught myself how to cook through reading cookbooks, trying recipes from books and allrecipes, and watching Good Eats on youtube(I like the in depth descriptions, the science and reasoning behind what is being done helps my apply the lessons to other situations, and it is always better to see a technique, than read about it). Heck, I taught myself the claw, pinch grip, and common cutting motions through youtube and several books.
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I get the feeling that the users of this forum(I could be way off base):
1. Prefer the profiles of gyuto knives, with less belly, thinner, lighter blades that are not as tall.
2. Dislike the germanic profiles, seen in the majority of knives, from Wusthof to Shun to Rachel Ray's Furi(ick).
3. Prefer push cuts and tap chopping to rock chopping, view it as more efficient and economical.
4. Think the majority of video's teaching knife skills, as well as the traditional views of knife skills taught in class rooms are incorrect.
5. Dislike the dedicated kitchen stores, like Williams Sonoma and Sur la Table, viewing them as being staffed with people with inferior skills and filled with bad knife products.
6. Many(not all) view those who haven't worked professionally in kitchens as having terrible technique(I don't disagree :( ).
7. View knives like Shun and Wusthof, Global and Henckels, as flawed knives, for their germannic design.
8. Consider most people as having terrible sharpening skills and/or dull knives.
9. Consider the methods of determining sharpness seen in many youtube video's(shaving hair, cutting paper, easily cutting tomatoes, Murray Carter's three finger technique, push cutting through paper, nicking thumb nail with no pressure) as being incorrect ways to determine sharpness, due to the possibility that it could be just because of a wire edge left on knife and/or they are just bad methods of testing.
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With those(possibly erroneous) conclusions I have made in mind:

A. How does one cut in the proper way? Are there any video's/books with dedicated information on the proper way to cut with gyuto style knives, with different profiles? It seems that if I took any knife skills classes at schools, they would have the same information/teach the same style y'all view as outdated.

B. How does one correctly determine sharpness, in your opinion?

C. I chose "nouveau" purposefully, because of its connotations of "trendiness." These types of knives seemed to be very new. Are these techniques and designs superior, or merely a fad? I am actually curious. I would tend to the former, rather than the latter. It seems that the germanic profiles and rock chopping is easier to learn, but the french/gyuto profiles and styles are more efficient, if you have the skill. However, because of its newness, I thought it best to bring this up.

D. Because most sharpening video's are bad, it seems, how does one still learning separate the wheat from the chaff?

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Sorry for the length of the post and its terrible structure. This was the best way I could express myself.
I am learning to sharpen, I hope, correctly. I first learned to sharpen folding knives on my grandfather's badly dished whetstone, and tools on his belt sander.
As someone who enjoys woodworking, I fell hard into the you-must-have-four-or-five-different-waterstonesat-least-camp. Also into the sharpening-at-too-high-an-angle camp. Watching Murray Carter's, Dave Martell's three video's posted on youtube, and the video's of Tom from Japanese Knife Imports, I learned to use two(1k, 6k), at most three stones, and to lower the blade greatly, lift at the tip, etc. I am still nowhere near proficient, though. I can sharpen my knives to the point where they can shave hair cleanly, and push cut(not slice, that is too easy) paper easily; I don't know if this is the proper method of testing, though.
Full disclosure, I guess I am part of the evil empire, too. Being a university student, I got a part time job at Williams-Sonoma. I guess I am the bad guy, since I am considered the "knife guy" as I know the products, and am the only one that knows how to sharpen and maintain edges. I don't lie about the downsides of the more brittle Shun knives, though. I also, because of the discount, have shun knives, though I got a Tojiro Shirogami Gyutuo 240mm, that I am thinning. Heck, I teach the cooking classes. Don't know what that says about the cooking skills of the employees. :eyebrow:
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Am I in the right ballpark, or way off-base?

Crothcipt
03-28-2012, 07:21 PM
I myself wouldn't mind working at W&S. The knives are nice to look at. But the biggest problem is like you said you have done your home work but everyone else hasn't. Most sales people don't care about what they are selling.

Most and biggest problem I see with that video is someone told her how she should use the knife and wasn't proficient with it. Also you don't want to drag on the board at all, you should only "kiss" the board at all times. There is quite a few books on technique (with pictures) that will be better. Also most vid's on youtube is more about selling you the product than about the correct way to use it.

PinkBunny
03-28-2012, 07:39 PM
Yes, I understand. I was cringing seeing how that lady was holding the pepper when slicing it. But my question was more about the comment, that:


This is just standard kitchen store B.S. It's outdated, it's not all true, it's wrong for about 40-60% of cooks, and it's going out of style fast--I'm doing my part to speed that along.
I take that to mean that rock chopping(which I like to use, am comfortable using) is not the best way to cut. That tap and push chopping are better. But where would we learn these better techniques? All the other video's, books, and summaries of knife skills classes push rock chopping as the preferred method. Where can we learn these better techniques? I know some people will say, "just cook enough with gyuto's, which force you to use those other method's, and you will learn it."
However, most people are home cooks, and simply don't put in enough hours to develop those techniques. I only have one gyuto, and several germannic style knives, most people have none. And practice doesn't make perfect, wrong practice, as anyone who has used knives without a claw technique, and tries to unlearn it/learn the claw knows, is worse than no practice. Where can we learn proper methods?

Johnny.B.Good
03-28-2012, 07:59 PM
Hi PB,

I think you are in the right ballpark with many of your points (perhaps with the exception of number nine). That said, I happen to like Williams-Sonoma (except for the prices). I am no longer interested in any of the knives that are for sale there (and have heard some amusing conversations between WS employees and customers on the topic of knives), but Williams-Sonoma is a nice store that sells (generally speaking) nice things.

Check out this video from Salty Dog:

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2877-Strokes-4-New-Folks?highlight=strokes

And I am new to sharpening freehand, but there seems to be universal agreement (rare here on any topic) about the quality of Jon Broida's instructional videos on the Japanese Knife Imports site and/or YouTube.

Eamon Burke
03-28-2012, 08:16 PM
1. A $100 knife will no longer last you the rest of your life. Not if you cook as much as my family, or have any family that abuses them, such as by putting them in the dishwasher.
2. A full tang is not a sure sign of a well made knife. Nor is the fact that it is forged to shape.
3. The idea that "well balanced" means "always 3/4 of the way up the handle" is a stupid idea. Everyone is going to want it in a different place. If I use a knife that is balanced like that at work, my arm gets sore by the end of the week.
4. How is the tang style and balance being in the handle going to do the work for you? They are unrelated concepts.
5. Standing with the knife askew to your body and whipping it off the board, leaning in terror of the flying edge is not a safe way to use a knife.
6. Draw cutting without a pronounced claw is a good way to lose a fingernail or three. Ask me how I know.
7. While you should not death-choke the knife, loosely hammer gripping the knife is not a good idea. You need to be able to control every direction of movement.
8. A honing steel is not $20. Not one worth owning. The one I suggest for the cheapest beaters is $30, the rest are more like $50.


Some things(like her treatment of the claw grip, her advocacy of not scraping with the edge, and the motion of the cuts, etc) is all pretty solid. It's not the worst I've seen, that's why I said it was standard--it's what you hear in Bed, Bath and Beyond. But it's what kept me from getting anywhere with my knife skills for years!


As for where you can learn proper methods, I'm working on that. I have a passion for this kind of thing, and am working toward putting together a series that will provide accurate, helpful, clear, accessible, and graduated information. I've found that the problem is that either you are being told the "whatever works for you, just do this old thing, here's the magic grip/angle/position", or else it's a complex, scholarly dissertation imploring the audience to become kitchen athletes. I think there is room for a middle ground. A great example is my wife. She's not a ninja in the kitchen, but over the past several years she's gone from terrifying me every time she picks up a knife, to being used to having knifework be an easy and un-intimidating part of the meal. She cooks 3 times a day, and I haven't been asked to cut something up in over a year.

jmforge
03-28-2012, 08:26 PM
Eamon, I may be wrong, but the impression that I get from watching official company video is that very few of the "forged to shape" German knives actually are made that way anymore. The videos that I have seen appear to show strip steel being fed from a huge roll into a stamping die and then into a drop forging press where the bolsters are forge welded onto the blade and the blank is then trimmed in another stamping die. In the Wusthof video, they only heated the area right where the bolster goes. Doesn't seem a whole lot different than the way the Japanese do things, but for the whole still using cheap steel thing.

Johnny.B.Good
03-28-2012, 08:29 PM
8. A honing steel is not $20. Not one worth owning. The one I suggest for the cheapest beaters is $30, the rest are more like $50.

Not to get off topic here, but what do you recommend? I have seen the Idahone Ceramic recommended highly and that's $28.

El Pescador
03-28-2012, 08:30 PM
Not to get off topic here, but what do you recommend? I have seen the Idahone Ceramic recommended highly and that's $28.

+1...watch chinese cleaver videos on youtube...

Eamon Burke
03-28-2012, 11:35 PM
Eamon, I may be wrong, but the impression that I get from watching official company video is that very few of the "forged to shape" German knives actually are made that way anymore. The videos that I have seen appear to show strip steel being fed from a huge roll into a stamping die and then into a drop forging press where the bolsters are forge welded onto the blade and the blank is then trimmed in another stamping die. In the Wusthof video, they only heated the area right where the bolster goes. Doesn't seem a whole lot different than the way the Japanese do things, but for the whole still using cheap steel thing.

Yeah, I am not 100% either, but I am fairly certain that Wusthof doesn't forge them to shape as we know it. Maybe some kind of high tech stamping process. But that is neither here nor there, because the fact that a knife was forged to shape wouldn't make it good intrinsically. A sign of a good knife is a reputable maker(and therefore HT) and a good grind. Being Forged to shape does have it's advantages, but just being so doesn't make it good. She said that if a knife is full tang, balanced where she said it 'should' be, and forged, it is a good knife. I've got a knife I paid $6 for that's full tang and they said it was drop forged, it's balanced just like that. It's a piece of crap. I use it to test sandpaper finishes to match grit size. :lol2:

Eamon Burke
03-28-2012, 11:40 PM
Not to get off topic here, but what do you recommend? I have seen the Idahone Ceramic recommended highly and that's $28.

That's the one that I recommend for cheap beaters, I carry it with me every day at work. On carbon steel, you can get a real nice edge off of it. My CCK 1303 responds well enough to it that I can shave arm hair with it after weeks and weeks of not being sharpened(which means the edge is gone, because CCK steel is C.R.A.P.). It's a 1200 grit rod, and you need to keep an eraser near it because it loads through use.

However, it doesn't bring out the best in harder knives or thicker blades. I've been meaning to try out a smoother one, but just haven't gotten around to it. I tend to be the "if the edge don't last all day, I did it wrong" type of guy, though I do want to check some out, like the Hand American Borosilicate rod. Just got no dollars for it.

Eamon Burke
03-28-2012, 11:48 PM
C. I chose "nouveau" purposefully, because of its connotations of "trendiness." These types of knives seemed to be very new. Are these techniques and designs superior, or merely a fad? I am actually curious. I would tend to the former, rather than the latter. It seems that the germanic profiles and rock chopping is easier to learn, but the french/gyuto profiles and styles are more efficient, if you have the skill. However, because of its newness, I thought it best to bring this up.


Sorry to suck the air out of the thread, but I had to add something here.

A lot of what we are doing here, and what keeps us busy is pretty much modern archaeology. Everything we are learning about was common sense to smiths 150 years ago. It got lost in the modern age. Also, there are ways of doing things with kitchen cutlery that the Japanese have been doing for thousands of years that offer massive improvements in quality and ease, and those deserve to be incorporated. Luckily, we are at a time when folks are getting into food again, and have to cut things up to get it, and America is set up to provide a style of knife and knife culture that really IS new and different.

But most of it is old hat. It took me 5 years to go from liking my parent's Sabatiers but not knowing if they are trash, to dissing them, to hating them, to respecting them, to loving them. I really wish my father would just give me his Sabs..he only uses one! Those knives are OLD SCHOOL and what do they have? Great tapers, convex grinds, well heat treated carbon steel, good characteristics of the steel, comfy handles, gentle flattish profiles, medium tip placement, balance right in front of the bolster--these are just run of the mill knives back in the day!

I like to think that, once, every county had at least one blacksmith like Will Catcheside.

Deckhand
03-29-2012, 12:27 AM
That's the one that I recommend for cheap beaters, I carry it with me every day at work. On carbon steel, you can get a real nice edge off of it. My CCK 1303 responds well enough to it that I can shave arm hair with it after weeks and weeks of not being sharpened(which means the edge is gone, because CCK steel is C.R.A.P.). It's a 1200 grit rod, and you need to keep an eraser near it because it loads through use.

However, it doesn't bring out the best in harder knives or thicker blades. I've been meaning to try out a smoother one, but just haven't gotten around to it. I tend to be the "if the edge don't last all day, I did it wrong" type of guy, though I do want to check some out, like the Hand American Borosilicate rod. Just got no dollars for it.

And they are out of stock.

Btw almost feel like I am doing something wrong clicking on a thread called nouveau technique by pink bunny.

cookinstuff
03-29-2012, 12:58 AM
Borosilicate rod is nice, I use it after I touch up with my ceramic, gets you a little bit more refined edge, I don't always use it though, sometimes I enjoy the edge I get off just a ceramic.

PinkBunny
03-29-2012, 01:19 AM
And they are out of stock.

Btw almost feel like I am doing something wrong clicking on a thread called nouveau technique by pink bunny.

I promise, I'm a good southern boy and manly man. Hunt, fish, woodwork...cook and bake...forget the last part.
Was trying to make up a email name while visiting grandparents as child. All the good names were taken, so I picked random objects in the room.

At least I didn't use the original entire name, pinkfluffybunniestakepills. =p

Deckhand
03-29-2012, 01:26 AM
I promise, I'm a good southern boy and manly man. Hunt, fish, woodwork...cook and bake...forget the last part.
Was trying to make up a email name while visiting grandparents as child. All the good names were taken, so I picked random objects in the room.

At least I didn't use the original entire name, pinkfluffybunniestakepills. =p

No harm intended. Just saying my wife might give me the evil eye for clicking on it.
In regards to Williams and Sonoma and sur la table. They used to be toy stores for me, but as my tastes have gotten more refined and expensive. Less interests me there. Still glad they exist.

PinkBunny
03-29-2012, 03:28 PM
Sorry to suck the air out of the thread, but I had to add something here.

A lot of what we are doing here, and what keeps us busy is pretty much modern archaeology. Everything we are learning about was common sense to smiths 150 years ago. It got lost in the modern age. Also, there are ways of doing things with kitchen cutlery that the Japanese have been doing for thousands of years that offer massive improvements in quality and ease, and those deserve to be incorporated. Luckily, we are at a time when folks are getting into food again, and have to cut things up to get it, and America is set up to provide a style of knife and knife culture that really IS new and different.

But most of it is old hat. It took me 5 years to go from liking my parent's Sabatiers but not knowing if they are trash, to dissing them, to hating them, to respecting them, to loving them. I really wish my father would just give me his Sabs..he only uses one! Those knives are OLD SCHOOL and what do they have? Great tapers, convex grinds, well heat treated carbon steel, good characteristics of the steel, comfy handles, gentle flattish profiles, medium tip placement, balance right in front of the bolster--these are just run of the mill knives back in the day!

I like to think that, once, every county had at least one blacksmith like Will Catcheside.

This, of course, leads to some further questions:
I chose this video because it has all three ways of using your knife as a flat surface.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuATCZ8kQxk
At 1:10, scraping food onto knife, without scraping knife on board.
At 3:10, scraping food onto knife, by scraping the knife on the board.
At 4:13, using the knife like a putty knife when mincing, to keep everything together, by scraping the knife on the board.

With harder steels, and more acute angles, is this not recommended, because there would be lateral force acting on the knife's edge? Or is it alright if you have a convex grind on your blade. Or is it more forgiving to use the on the softer range of board hardwoods, like cherry.

Bringing up convex grinds also begs the question, is it culinarily useful? I know it would be useful on knives that see heavy work, like cleavers and possibly boners. However, what about others?

Paring/Petty knives: Is it useful to have convex grinds? Since they do a lot of detail work with the tip, is it better to have the tougher edges of a convex grind? Especially considering everyone always remembers to sharpen their chef and carving knives, paring knives seem to fall by the wayside. Also, as you frequently work with acidic citrus fruits with paring knives, is it better to have a beefier edge?

Carving/Sujihiki/Yanagi - Is it a good idea to have a convex grind, in case, heaven forbid, you nick a bone? Or is it better to keep the knife as sharp as possible, to carve better with the least(preferably one) amount of strokes?

Nakiri/Chinese Cleaver - Different knives, yes, but narrow blades that both do a proportionally greater amount of push cuts and chopping. As those are harder on the blade than rock chopping, is it better to have the tougher convex edge? Especially considering the dubious quality steel of authentic chinese cleavers?

Gyuto - The big guy. Is it a good idea to put convex edges on these knives? They, because of their profile, do more push cuts and chopping than germannic style knives, and this is harder on the edges. Is the trade-off in keenness worth it? I remember one of Saltydog's video's I saw last night had a gyuto with a convex edge.

slowtyper
03-29-2012, 04:06 PM
I believe the convex edge also plays a role in "stickyness", or how food releases from the blade. I think this is a more important than strengthening the edge.

Also I disagree that push cutting is harder on the edge than rock chopping. If done properly you aren't slamming the knife into the board each time, you should just be barely kissing the board. As such, only a small portion of the blade makes contact with the board as opposed to rock chopping which has the entire blade edge hitting the board each stroke.

Eamon Burke
03-29-2012, 05:20 PM
This, of course, leads to some further questions:
I chose this video because it has all three ways of using your knife as a flat surface.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuATCZ8kQxk
At 1:10, scraping food onto knife, without scraping knife on board.
At 3:10, scraping food onto knife, by scraping the knife on the board.
At 4:13, using the knife like a putty knife when mincing, to keep everything together, by scraping the knife on the board.

With harder steels, and more acute angles, is this not recommended, because there would be lateral force acting on the knife's edge? Or is it alright if you have a convex grind on your blade. Or is it more forgiving to use the on the softer range of board hardwoods, like cherry.


The first time he does that, at 1:10, you can hear the knife battering along the board. That means that the edge is grabbing the wood and being popped out. A soft steel knife like his, it will fall out of alignment pretty fast. If his edge were hard and acute, as you describe it, the knife wouldn't do that. Once it grabs, it sticks, or else it doesn't grab and scrapes along the board. I dont recommend scraping the board with the edge of your knife because it is abusive, but it is by no means forbidden. One advantage to higher end cutlery steels that are well heat treated is that they withstand edge rolling like that pretty well. Some steels, like Tojiro's VG-10, is a large carbide stainless that, because of how it is heat treated, is prone to chipping from doing things like that. Not giant, 1mm chips, just microchips that take away from the quality of your edge--this is called "carbide popout".

The problem with 3:10 is not the knife on the board, you can totally use a knife as a scoop without any issues. But he scrapes it on the pan! That's either going to dull your knife or shave pieces of the pan into the food and jack up your cookware. It's ok if you don't give a crap about your things, but that is the kind of behavior that in a pro kitchen tells the management you dont care about the place--they pay money for equipment, and then you're scraping knives on pans.

The cherry tomato think was pretty cool. I have to admit, I do not ever cut a small amount of cherry tomatoes like that unless it is one at a time. Usually I put them between lids and cut like 30 at a time. But that is a good little technique. You can use your knife to scoop food, whack garlic, open bags, whatever--there are just a FEW really insanely bad ideas that people seem strangely adamant about being allowed to do, like cutting on glass, putting the knife in a drawer loose with the silverware, putting it in the dishwasher, hacking at frozen blocks of ice, etc.

Allow me to use this video to illustrate the difference I talk about between knife skills and what I call "dull knife skills". This guy clearly is comfortable and happy with the way he cooks and cuts. I'm sure he's wonderful. But if you notice at 4:03, he cuts a swath of herbs off the bunch--this is literally a fluffy bunch of leaves, and in order to cut it off the bunch, you can see him putting his shoulder into it, because the knife does not cut unless the herbs are pinned between it and board. It doesn't have to be that way! The knife should just hop through leafy herbs, you can save your shoulder the trouble of working your way through the food and your knife will just cut the dang thing. This is not a technique issue, it's a knife quality issue. His technique has been adapted to the point that he is comfortable with the concept and motion of doing that extra work to get food cut. But it makes things less than joyful for new cooks, and over time, it causes strain and repetative motion injury in professionals.

Not to mention you have to smash the herbs onto the board to cut them up. I was shocked when I found out that if you cut green onions with a sharp knife and rinse them, they stay plump and fresh looking for days. If my wife cut an apple for my kid a few hours before I come home, and it's sitting on the counter, I can grab a piece and eat it, because it is fresh as a lily.



Bringing up convex grinds also begs the question, is it culinarily useful? I know it would be useful on knives that see heavy work, like cleavers and possibly boners. However, what about others?

Paring/Petty knives: Is it useful to have convex grinds? Since they do a lot of detail work with the tip, is it better to have the tougher edges of a convex grind? Especially considering everyone always remembers to sharpen their chef and carving knives, paring knives seem to fall by the wayside. Also, as you frequently work with acidic citrus fruits with paring knives, is it better to have a beefier edge?

Carving/Sujihiki/Yanagi - Is it a good idea to have a convex grind, in case, heaven forbid, you nick a bone? Or is it better to keep the knife as sharp as possible, to carve better with the least(preferably one) amount of strokes?

Nakiri/Chinese Cleaver - Different knives, yes, but narrow blades that both do a proportionally greater amount of push cuts and chopping. As those are harder on the blade than rock chopping, is it better to have the tougher convex edge? Especially considering the dubious quality steel of authentic chinese cleavers?

Gyuto - The big guy. Is it a good idea to put convex edges on these knives? They, because of their profile, do more push cuts and chopping than germannic style knives, and this is harder on the edges. Is the trade-off in keenness worth it? I remember one of Saltydog's video's I saw last night had a gyuto with a convex edge.


Convex edges and convex grinds are two different things. A convex grind occurs on the blade FACES, not the edge bevels. The edge bevel is always convex to some extent or another unless you sharpen with a really well-made jig(which will allow for precisely flat bevels). A flat cutting edge provides no demonstratable advantage, and is anecdotally believed to be more prone to chipping. If you sharpen by hand, you WILL wobble, because you are an organism, not a device, and the convexing will happen. Kitchen knives rarely, if ever, have the extreme convex edges like you see on outdoor knives like a Bark River knife--partly due to the style of upkeep being unpopular, and also because it doesn't lend itself to the face grinds that we all know and love.

Convex grinds are on the blade faces. A lot of knives are being flat ground because it is easy to machine, it requires less skill for a maker to grind flat bevels than to manage a 3 dimensional curved object with high points in the right places in relation to the edge. Also it is cheaper(a LOT cheaper) on factory machines to grind out flat grinds because the machine makes precise passes, leaving very flat bevels in it's wake. Blending them together would require so many passes on a machine it would become prohibitively expensive, though with human hands, you can do it no problem.

The difference for push cutting and slicing is all in the polish on the edge. I will do a video about this soon, because I can demonstrate it easily on cheap knives--a knife can be sharpened so that it will push cut a carrot like it's not there and will not break the skin of a tomato. Then you can put a super toothy edge on it and it'll make short work of the tomato, fall through it even, and take twice as long for the carrot. It's all about the level of finish, and though home cooks don't need many knives, I think pro cooks that are doing demanding fine dining should have different knives set aside for different edge qualities, if you want the best.


Please do not think that we are riding crystal bicycles here. You would be shocked the kind of **** I do to my knives at work, from the way I implore people to treat them with respect. Do I smack the faucet knob with the spine to turn it on and rinse my hands and blade in the prep sink? Yep. Do I split sweet potatoes the size of my forearm by hitting them with the knife and then picking the potato up with it and dropping it down like a hammer? Yep. All that stuff is a day in the life, and I can still top and tail all my produce over the trash can in mid air to save time, because I'm not abusing the edge beyond it's limits.

Pensacola Tiger
03-29-2012, 05:29 PM
Don't confuse convex grinds with convexed edges - they are two different things. Convex grind refers to the shape of the blade face, while a convexed edge is in contrast to the "V" shaped edge that most of us put on our knives.

A high degree of convexity in the grind of the blade face can aid in food release but there is a tradeoff in terms of the ability to "fall though" food. A good example of this is the new "Ultimatum", which is highly convexed to provide excellent food release, but which wedges in root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Another example are the knives of Marko Tsourkan, who has been doing a lot of experimentation with his grinds to find a happy medium. http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5760-Experimenting-with-new-grind

Convexed edges have often been characterized as being stronger than "V"-edges, and they are, to a degree. Neither edge will fare well when hitting bone, though. The trick with convexed edges is maintaining them, as it either requires a belt grinder or use of the "mousepad and sandpaper" technique. Of course, you can approximate a convex edge with a series of microbevels.

Now, as to your questions about convexed edges and kitchen knives, I can only answer from my perspective as a home user that a "V"-edge is more than adequate for kitchen use. I have tried convex edges and noted no improvement in edge retention.

As far as using your knife to scrape a board, either flip the knife and use the spine or a get a dedicated food scraper. Your edges, convex or "V", will thank you.

Rick


This, of course, leads to some further questions:
I chose this video because it has all three ways of using your knife as a flat surface.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuATCZ8kQxk
At 1:10, scraping food onto knife, without scraping knife on board.
At 3:10, scraping food onto knife, by scraping the knife on the board.
At 4:13, using the knife like a putty knife when mincing, to keep everything together, by scraping the knife on the board.

With harder steels, and more acute angles, is this not recommended, because there would be lateral force acting on the knife's edge? Or is it alright if you have a convex grind on your blade. Or is it more forgiving to use the on the softer range of board hardwoods, like cherry.

Bringing up convex grinds also begs the question, is it culinarily useful? I know it would be useful on knives that see heavy work, like cleavers and possibly boners. However, what about others?

Paring/Petty knives: Is it useful to have convex grinds? Since they do a lot of detail work with the tip, is it better to have the tougher edges of a convex grind? Especially considering everyone always remembers to sharpen their chef and carving knives, paring knives seem to fall by the wayside. Also, as you frequently work with acidic citrus fruits with paring knives, is it better to have a beefier edge?

Carving/Sujihiki/Yanagi - Is it a good idea to have a convex grind, in case, heaven forbid, you nick a bone? Or is it better to keep the knife as sharp as possible, to carve better with the least(preferably one) amount of strokes?

Nakiri/Chinese Cleaver - Different knives, yes, but narrow blades that both do a proportionally greater amount of push cuts and chopping. As those are harder on the blade than rock chopping, is it better to have the tougher convex edge? Especially considering the dubious quality steel of authentic chinese cleavers?

Gyuto - The big guy. Is it a good idea to put convex edges on these knives? They, because of their profile, do more push cuts and chopping than germannic style knives, and this is harder on the edges. Is the trade-off in keenness worth it? I remember one of Saltydog's video's I saw last night had a gyuto with a convex edge.

Cadillac J
03-29-2012, 05:36 PM
PB, remember...there is a difference between convex grind and convex edge.

Eamon Burke
03-29-2012, 05:46 PM
LOL, you guys totally tl;dr'd my post!

I know, I'm a windbag. :yap:

Cadillac J
03-29-2012, 05:52 PM
Hahaha, no man...I started writing a comment and then got pulled away from my desk for a while. Came back and hit send and then realized you and Rick posted books clarifying the subject while I was gone.

Pensacola Tiger
03-29-2012, 06:23 PM
Three minds with but the same thought ...

PinkBunny
03-29-2012, 06:49 PM
They do say its easier to remember something after being smacked over the head by it repeatedly...or is that the opposite? =p
Ok, so, googling convex grinds...

http://backyardbushman.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/convex.jpg
Grind

http://backyardbushman.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/highflat.jpg
Edge
Is this correct?
The overall shape of the blade itself would be the grind, and the cutting edge itself is the convex edge? I am still learning, and trying to be sure.

Pensacola Tiger
03-29-2012, 07:08 PM
Thanks for digging out the illustration. Yes, that's correct.


They do say its easier to remember something after being smacked over the head by it repeatedly...or is that the opposite? =p
Ok, so, googling convex grinds...

http://backyardbushman.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/convex.jpg
Grind

http://backyardbushman.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/highflat.jpg
Edge
Is this correct?
The overall shape of the blade itself would be the grind, and the cutting edge itself is the convex edge? I am still learning, and trying to be sure.

EdipisReks
03-29-2012, 08:29 PM
i always call the edge that hits the food the primary, but otherwise that's correct to my mind.

Chifunda
03-29-2012, 08:45 PM
I'm sorry, but all this talk of convexity reminds me that:

There once was a young man named Greene
Who invented a sexual machine
Both concave and convex
It would fit either sex
But oh, what a bastard to clean!

We return you now to your regularly scheduled programming. :razz:

EdipisReks
03-29-2012, 08:56 PM
heh

Eamon Burke
03-29-2012, 09:36 PM
Here's a Glossary (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2023-Kitchen-Knife-Glossary) I think you will find very helpful.

And here's a brief treatment (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/2231-Primary-Secondary-Bevel-Discrepancy) on the primary/secondary edge thing.

Great questions, pinkbunny.

Chifunda
03-29-2012, 10:54 PM
The primary/secondary bevel discussion is largely a matter of semantics I suppose, but here's my take on it:

The first bevel ground onto an edge is the primary bevel because...well, it's first. The second bevel logically, at least to me, is the secondary bevel. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that if we sharpen a second bevel onto an existing edge we should call it the primary bevel and what was previously the primary bevel becomes the secondary bevel. Seems kinda counterintuitive to me.

But maybe I've just read too many articles on sharpening woodworking tools.

Chifunda
03-31-2012, 12:30 AM
I'm sorry, but all this talk of convexity reminds me that:

There once was a young man named Greene
Who invented a sexual machine
Both concave and convex
It would fit either sex
But oh, what a bastard to clean!

We return you now to your regularly scheduled programming. :razz:

My apologies for the off track limerick, but when I was in Viet Nam, on nights when we were back to base, we'd line a footlocker with a poncho, fill it with beer and ice from the cook's tent, and try to drink as much as we could in as short a period of time as possible.

These sessions frequently devolved into the singing of whatever bawdy limericks memory could conjure up. They still pop into my head, uninvited, given the right trigger. :pardon:

PinkBunny
03-31-2012, 12:54 AM
My apologies for the off track limerick, but when I was in Viet Nam, on nights when we were back to base, we'd line a footlocker with a poncho, fill it with beer and ice from the cook's tent, and try to drink as much as we could in as short a period of time as possible.

These sessions frequently devolved into the singing of whatever bawdy limericks memory could conjure up. They still pop into my head, uninvited, given the right trigger. :pardon:
Is there something wrong with me, if the first thing I thought was, "How do you keep the poncho from falling on you, when drinking?"